Steve Roland

Performer

Male

Born: July 16, 1928
Eldred, Pennsylvania

Died: April 26, 2012
New York, New York

Obituary: Steve Roland, 83, an actor at home in Broadway shows, TV commercials and smoky clubs over a long career, died April 26 2012 of natural causes at his home in New York City.

Mr. Roland, born in Eldred, PA, and raised in Brooklyn, started his career in show business as a well-known boy soprano, singing all over the country, most notably at the 1939 World's Fair, his son Richard told Playbill.com. He made his Broadway debut as a replacement in the original production of South Pacific playing Seaman Tom O'Brien. It was a favorite job, his son said.

Mr. Roland went on to appear in the original Broadway casts of Pipe Dream (Bill), Bells Are Ringing (Paul Arnold, Inspector Barnes), Do Re Mi (Lou), Come On Strong (Mike Amidon), 110 in the Shade (Noah Curry) and I Had a Ball (Brooks). He was a regular performer at Julius Monk's Upstairs at the Downstairs and other downtown clubs. He also made two notable guest appearances on "The Ed Sullivan Show," accompanying himself on his guitar.

Summer stock and tours were also part of his career. He played opposite Dorothy Loudon in a tour of The Unsinkable Molly Brown.

In the 1960s, he began finding success in TV and radio commercials, appearing in and voicing thousands of ads. He was widely recognized for selling everything from diapers to cigarettes to cars and everything in between, said his son, who followed his parents into a life in the theatre.

Mr. Roland was born on July 16, 1928, went to Erasmus High School in Brooklyn, served in the Korean War and went right to Broadway.

He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Lispet Nelson Roland (they met performing together in I Had a Ball) and son Richard Roland and husband Raymond Sage, and daughter Kristina Roland and husband Christopher Kolb.

There will be no funeral, but a memorial celebration is planned for later this year. In lieu of flowers or cards, the family suggests donations to The Actors Fund.

 

Roles

Playbill Cover - I Had a Ball I Had a Ball
Dec. 15, 1964 - Jun. 12, 1965
Brooks Performer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - 110 in the Shade 110 in the Shade
Oct. 24, 1963 - Aug. 8, 1964
Noah Curry Performer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Come on Strong Come on Strong
Oct. 4, 1962 - Nov. 3, 1962
Mike Amidon Performer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Do Re Mi Do Re Mi
Dec. 26, 1960 - Jan. 13, 1962
Member of the Public Performer
(Original)
 
    The Chief Counsel Performer
(Original)
 
    Lou Performer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Bells Are Ringing Bells Are Ringing
Nov. 29, 1956 - Mar. 7, 1959
Man from Corvello Mob Understudy
(Original)
 
    Voice in Advertisement Understudy
(Original)
 
    Inspector Barnes Understudy
(Replacement)
 
    Paul Arnold Performer
(Original)
 
    Singer Performer
(Original)
 
    Larry Hastings Understudy
(Original)
 
    Ludwig Smiley Understudy
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - Pipe Dream Pipe Dream
Nov. 30, 1955 - Jun. 30, 1956
Bill Performer
(Original)
 
Playbill Cover - South Pacific South Pacific
Apr. 7, 1949 - Jan. 16, 1954
Seaman Tom O'Brien Performer
(Replacement)
 
 
 
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